Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat: Reykjavik’s Unique Tribute to Bureaucrats

The phrase “faceless bureaucrat” is not typically a compliment, but in Reykjavik, Iceland, these anonymous workers are honored in art. This statue is unique as it is literally faceless, with a large slab of Icelandic volcanic basalt where the head and torso would be. The statue, created by sculptor Magnús Tómasson in 1994, leaves interpretation open as to whether it is a serious tribute or a humorous satire. While monuments to unknown soldiers are common worldwide, Iceland has no standing army, making this statue a tribute to the civilians who serve their country.

Lækjargata 6,

Sources:,, Caroline Davis/Picasa

  1. December 30, 2012
  2. March 4, 2019

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